One of the Senators (Hegel, I think) asked Bolton a few minutes ago during the SFRC hearing why the United States didn’t listen to UNMOVIC and the IAEA when they said Iraq didn’t have WMD. During the course of his answer, Bolton said that the Bush administration had not disputed the IAEA’s claim that Iraq did not have a uranium enrichment program.
Right. This is what Cheney “told”:http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/cheneymeetthepress.htm _Meet the Press_ a few days before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq:
MR. RUSSERT: And even though the International Atomic Energy Agency said he does not have a nuclear program, we disagree?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: *I disagree, yes.* And youâ€™ll find the CIA, for example, and other key parts of our intelligence community disagree. Letâ€™s talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. Weâ€™ve got, again, a long record here. Itâ€™s not as though this is a fresh issue. In the late â€™70s, Saddam Hussein acquired nuclear reactors from the French. 1981, the Israelis took out the Osirak reactor and stopped his nuclear weapons development at the time. Throughout the â€™80s, he mounted a new effort. I was told when I was defense secretary before the Gulf War that he was eight to 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. And we found out after the Gulf War that he was within one or two years of having a nuclear weapon because *he had a massive effort under way that involved four or five different technologies for enriching uranium to produce fissile material.*
We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He’s had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. *And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted [his] nuclear weapons [program]. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong.* [Emphasis, Lewis]